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#154747 - 11/15/04 05:09 PM Some Assembly Req"d  
Dave55  Offline
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 697
Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA
I spent a few hours today assembling and installing four light fixtures. The owner didn't want them installed as the manufacturer intended, and wanted them on the wall instead of the ceiling. It took a lot of custom work. I'm not complaining because it was T&M, but there have been other situations where it was a contract.

Usually I just eat problems like this in contracts. I normally allow a little extra time for SOMETHING to take longer. It may mean a little more or less profit in the end, or even go without profit and cut into the hourly rate. I figure it all evens out at the end of the year.

I'm just curious how other guys handle this, usually with cheap fixtures, but I've also had bad mudrings that had to be tapped out. Do you word the contract that this would go into T&M, or as an extra?


Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:

#154748 - 11/15/04 06:02 PM Re: Some Assembly Req"d  
Bert66  Offline
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 80
Belle Chasse, La. USA
Dave, I would say that anything that doesn't fall into your agreed upon contract would be an add-on. But you could also look at it in a different light. especially if it didn't take a whole lot of extra time. mmmmmmmm I would just play this one case-by-case.

The customer is always right!!! (Most of the time).

[This message has been edited by Bert66 (edited 11-15-2004).]

#154749 - 11/15/04 06:12 PM Re: Some Assembly Req"d  
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
One thing for certain, it DOES NOT all even out at the end of the year. The extra time you spent and did not bill is GONE! As is the money you did not receive. Your time is valuable, don't waste it. That said any deviation from a standard light fixture installation (such as you have described) should be brought to the customers attention and explained that it will be more time and of course more money. My other thought would be modifying a fixture may cause UL listing trouble.

#154750 - 11/15/04 06:13 PM Re: Some Assembly Req"d  

My .02
I think contracts / agreements or even a written proposal which the customer has to sign off on for smaller projects are a great way to cover yourself in these situations. I have a "canned" list of Includes and Excludes right on the proposal and it can be modified for any particular job and you have it right there in writing right up front.

#154751 - 11/17/04 03:22 PM Re: Some Assembly Req"d  
Dave55  Offline
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 697
Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA
When I say it all evens out at the end of the year, I mean that some contracts are more profitable than others. If I have a contract that I finish early and have 30% profit on, I'm not going to cry about a contract with no profit.

Part of my personal business philosophy is to give people something extra. It may not look as good on the bottom line, but I feel it's good business for building a customer base.


PS...I didn't think the light fixtures listing was an was removing an extension similar to going with a shorter ceiling fan downrod...and the ceiling to wall isn't an issue as the sockets rotated almost 360 degrees in all directions. It just made it more difficult to install with my big hands.

[This message has been edited by Dave55 (edited 11-17-2004).]

#154752 - 11/17/04 07:23 PM Re: Some Assembly Req"d  
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
Dave, I would not cry either if a job was not profitable. I would however wonder why I am working for nothing. Giving something extra is fine but why should it cost you, and by you I mean your business, anything? If it works for you great but ultimately it is the bottom line that matters. Suppliers, vendors, insurance companies, Uncle Sam, etc, etc, etc, remind me every month!

#154753 - 11/19/04 02:41 PM Re: Some Assembly Req"d  
derater  Offline
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 179
The main issues I run into are usually overweight foyer lights and ceiling fan/lights.How do you folks account for/charge these and to whom? Homeowner,builder?I don't like it but I'll eat a little time, but 3/4 bedrooms/family room, etc. and it gets into REAL time.

#154754 - 11/20/04 03:26 PM Re: Some Assembly Req"d  
kinetic  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 156
Phoenix, Arizona
KentVW....Do you think you could email that "canned" list of inclusions and exclusions. I have a long list already but I know they could be worded better and/or included to mine to kill any grey areas. I don't like conflicts with customers and prefer to let them know ahead of time what they are getting and for how much. Even if it means a two page proposal to change a receptacle.

#154755 - 11/20/04 03:49 PM Re: Some Assembly Req"d  

kinetic, I'd be happy to. But you will need to modify your profile to include your email add or post it here.

I use Excel for all of my bids / proposals as well as an estimating program I put together. It would be easiest to send the email as an excel file but I could try and cut and paste to a word doc if you can't.

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